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Average Salary
$51,045
Average Salary
Job Openings
89,041
Job Openings

Clinical Laboratory Technician Careers

A Clinical Laboratory Technician collects and performs tests on a number of organic samples, such as body fluids or tissue, and then files the results. The job can be very versatile in its many tasks, depending on what kind of a laboratory the technician works in.

They might analyze blood for blood banks, do research, contribute to understanding a patient's medical issues, work and improve upon the clinic's technology by maintaining and testing it, test new medicine, and so on.

While some employers look for at least an Associate's degree, a typical entry-level technician has a Bachelor's degree in Biology, Chemistry, or a related science subject.

What Does a Clinical Laboratory Technician Do

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Duties

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. 

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. 

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. 

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. 

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area. For example, histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, who are doctors who study the cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.

How To Become a Clinical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Education

An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics. Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.

The courses may be offered through a university or hospital-based program that students attend during their senior year of college. College graduates who major in other sciences and meet a program’s prerequisites, such as having completed required courses in biology and chemistry or maintaining a certain GPA, also may apply to a medical laboratory science program.

Medical laboratory technicians often complete an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science. A limited number of 1-year certificate programs are available from hospitals, and admission requirements vary. The Armed Forces and vocational or technical schools also may offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines.

High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical laboratory sciences should take classes in chemistry, biology, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure in some states. Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians.

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.

Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.

Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.

Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Advancement

After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education.

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Average Salary
$51,045
Average Salary
Job Openings
89,041
Job Openings

Clinical Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Clinical Laboratory Technician

Top Careers After Clinical Laboratory Technician

Clinical Laboratory Technician Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Clinical Laboratory Technician

Clinical Laboratory Technicians in America make an average salary of $51,045 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$51,045
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Santa Barbara, CA
Salary Range56k - 89k$71k$70,978
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range50k - 81k$64k$64,478
Seattle, WA
Salary Range49k - 78k$62k$62,420
Boston, MA
Salary Range47k - 75k$59k$59,429
New York, NY
Salary Range46k - 74k$58k$58,435
Edison, NJ
Salary Range45k - 72k$57k$57,438
$30k
$89k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Clinical Lab Technologist-Hospital Clinical Labs
Clinical Lab Technologist-Hospital Clinical Labs
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$60,08506/30/2021
$60,085
Coord, Clinical Lab Phlebotomy
Coord, Clinical Lab Phlebotomy
Children's Mercy Hospital
Children's Mercy Hospital
06/27/2021
06/27/2021
$37,27406/27/2021
$37,274
Direct Clinical Lab Technician
Direct Clinical Lab Technician
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$40,00006/26/2021
$40,000
Clinical Lab Tech
Clinical Lab Tech
Randstad
Randstad
06/19/2021
06/19/2021
$49,56606/19/2021
$49,566
Clinical RES Lab Tech
Clinical RES Lab Tech
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Texas Medical Branch
06/16/2021
06/16/2021
$34,56006/16/2021
$34,560
See More Recent Salaries

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Clinical Laboratory Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Clinical Laboratory Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Clinical Laboratory Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Clinical Laboratory Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Clinical Laboratory Technician Demographics

Gender

female

60.7 %

male

33.2 %

unknown

6.1 %

Ethnicity

White

57.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.5 %

Asian

12.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.5 %

French

10.4 %

Chinese

6.5 %
See More Demographics

Clinical Laboratory Technician Education

Degrees

Bachelors

56.4 %

Associate

15.4 %

Certificate

14.0 %

Top Colleges for Clinical Laboratory Technicians

1. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

2. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

4. University of Vermont

Burlington, VT • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,276
Enrollment
10,612

5. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Enrollment
16,205

6. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,730
Enrollment
18,830

7. University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,499
Enrollment
12,668

8. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,410
Enrollment
31,321
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Clinical Laboratory Technician That You May Like

Introduction to the Medical Laboratory
ed2go

Learn key skills needed to become a medical laboratory professional and play a vital role in the healthcare system...

Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice)
coursera

This course is developed to improve the effectiveness of laboratory classes in higher education. It aims to support teachers to improve their teaching skills for active learning in university science laboratory courses. It will show you how laboratory sessions can differ with respect to their aim and expected learning outcomes, how to engage students for learning and how to cope with their different levels of pre-knowledge and experience and probe their understanding. Last but not least it will...

The Simplest Guide to Clinical Data Analysis with SAS
udemy
4.4
(361)

Step into the world of Pharmaceutical industry Clinical Trials Clinical Research Biostatistics Data Management SAS...

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Top Skills For a Clinical Laboratory Technician

Best States For a Clinical Laboratory Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a clinical laboratory technician. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Clinical laboratory technicians make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $77,436. Whereas in California and Nevada, they would average $70,100 and $64,958, respectively. While clinical laboratory technicians would only make an average of $63,231 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Clinical Laboratory Technician Jobs:
300
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Clinical Laboratory Technician Jobs:
355
Highest 10% Earn:
$98,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Clinical Laboratory Technician Jobs:
952
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
1.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Clinical Laboratory Technician Employers

1. Mayo Clinic
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$60,989
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
92+
2. Quest Diagnostics
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,151
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
39+
3. Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$56,238
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
21+
4. The Ohio State University
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$44,184
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
21+
5. The Johns Hopkins Hospital
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$50,658
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
19+
6. Washington University in St. Louis
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$53,982
Clinical Laboratory Technicians Hired: 
17+

Clinical Laboratory Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020